Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach Quotes
February 28, 2023
GENERAL MANAGER BRETT VEACH
OPENING STATEMENT: “Really just to put a bow on last season, what an amazing year and really just looking back on the last five years – I mean five AFC Championship games at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, three AFC titles and two Super Bowl wins. I don’t think you have that level of success unless your organization is operating on a high level throughout the departments. So just really quickly want to thank (Chairman and CEO) Clark Hunt, (President) Mark Donovan, our amazing coaching staff. You know two groups that seem to always get overlooked but at this time of year I always want to make sure I say a special thank you to them and that’s our training staff, (Vice President of Sports Medicine and Performance) Rick Burkholder and his crew do an amazing job and (Executive Vice President of Communications) Ted Crews and his staff. I mean these guys do so much behind the scenes and they take a lot of stress off of (Head) Coach (Andy Reid) and my staff, and also take a lot of stress off of Pat Mahomes, so that’s a big deal for us. So, I want to thank Ted. And then my staff, I love seeing them this time of year. Last year we came here and there were a lot of questions about our roster and how do we turn the page. I think when you have the GM blue book it kind of says smart in free agency and build through the draft And I think I’ve learned over the years as you have more and more success that becomes more difficult because the players cost more and you’re picking late in the draft. Last year, we really had to slam dunk this thing from start to finish, and it was one of those years a GM dreams of. Just everything seemed like it worked out whether it was the offseason with JuJu (Smith-Schuster), MVS (Marquez Valdes-Scantling) and JReid (Justin Reid), Carlos (Dunlap). And then the draft players from Trent McDuffie all the way down to Isiah Pacheco, rounds one through seven helping us out. So, we’ll certainly be happy to take the pats on the back this Combine. But you know once we leave here, it’ll be starting from scratch again and we’ll be ready for that challenge. So, with that I’ll take questions.”
Q: What are you plans surrounding Orlando Brown Jr. knowing that he played this year on a franchise tag?
VEACH: “Yeah, it’s an option. We went through this path last year. As always, (Kansas City Star beat writer) Herbie (Teope), it’s more beneficial for us to get something done long term. That’s why this season is so important for us and really this is the start. We’ll have a lot of dialogue, as you know, the Combine is great to come in here and check out the new college talent, but a lot of the time here is spent talking with the agents of our players, so start exchanging information. Now unlike last year, I think we have at least a runway to work with. We’ve gotten to know his team a little bit better. We’re excited to get that process started here and hopefully we can get something figured out.”
Q: Last year Orlando Brown Jr. did not have representation at this time. How helpful is that?
VEACH: “Yeah, I mean it’s a big deal because I don’t think we started that until really late in the process and time became a factor there, so I think that’s certainly going to help facilitate things. We’ll just go to work right away and see what we can get done.”
Q: On Patrick Mahomes’ ability to play with many different players.
VEACH: “Yeah, I think the unique thing about Patrick is he can really play any style of football. We’ve seen it throughout his career. I mean he can play the up tempo run-and-gun stuff, but I think last year was a good kind of turning point for our team and you know we saw a lot of different coverages and teams forcing us to play patient. I think last year when we looked at the (Tyreek Hill) trade, I think in our mindset we knew you’re not going to find another Tyreek Hill. So, let’s just go out there and find good football players, and the cool thing and the advantage we had is Pat can play any style of football, so he can work with bigger receivers and play more of a tempo game and play the small game if we have to. So, I don’t think we ever thought we were going to go out there and find another Tyreek Hill. Certainly, speed and athleticism, versatility will always be at the top of our list but really, we just wanted to collect good football players.”
Q: On the Tyreek Hill trade.
VEACH: “I don’t think the age one, as far at Tyreek Hill. I mean you know that speed, any team is going to want that. I think it’s probably more imperative depending on the quarterback. I mean like I said and the cool thing about having Pat Mahomes is certainly if you get him a Tyreek Hill it makes your team more dangerous, but I think Pat showed last year that he can work with a variety of skillsets and be effective.”
Q: You used the Senior Bowl to help find Trey Smith and Creed Humphrey. Can you talk about the importance of bowls like that?
VEACH: “Yeah, I mean the Senior Bowl is certainly a very high priority list for us in regard to how we go about our process. You know, (Executive Director of the Reese’s Senior Bowl) Jim Nagy, he’s worked in the league for a long time, and he does a great job of reaching out to GMs, reaching out to scouting directors to make sure that game is run the way that it needs to be. I think if you just look at our roster – Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Noah Gray, Kadarius Toney, the two corners last year – I think if you just looked at our roster, I think it kind of tells the story of how important the Senior Bowl is for us.”
Q: The Chiefs have had so much success against the AFC West. What do you think of the addition of Head Coach Sean Payton to Denver?
VEACH: “Well I mean, it’s funny because Denver started to turn the corner there right at the end of the season and played some really good football and now with (Broncos’ Head) Coach (Sean) Payton they’ll be even more dangerous, and I think (Broncos’ QB) Russell (Wilson) kind of got into a groove late. Our division is really tough, and I think that was one of the things that really helped us in our playoff run. I think you know playing the Chargers twice a year and the Raiders and the Broncos got off to a little bit of a slow start, but I think they played good football late. Certainly, Coach Payton only adds to the degree of difficulty of having to get through that. So, that will certainly be a challenge.”
Q: When looking at a player like Frank Clark how do you judge saving cap space vs. the benefit of having him on the roster?
VEACH: “Yeah, I mean we’ll probably – to a certain extent – need some cap space, but we have a long history with him and his agent too. So, he’ll be one of the many conversations we have this week and look forward to getting with him and seeing if we can work something out that makes sense for both parties.”
Q: What has been the key to maintaining success?
VEACH: “I mean it’s extremely difficult. I think you’ve just got to be buttoned up on your free agency plan. I don’t think you can go in there and have a set of A, B, C, D. You have to just have a plan, stick to it, and knock it out of the park. And if the plan doesn’t work, you have to move on quickly. And I just think the level of communication that we have with our coaching staff, because you do obviously have to hit on the Draft and when you have the rapport that we have with my staff and our coaching staff, I think it just helps in that process because you know the scheme and the vision and the fit. I mean we’re all on the same page and I just think the fact that (Head) Coach (Andy Reid) and I have worked together for so long and even (Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo) Coach Spags and I have been together for a long time now, I think that continuity is something that has really helped us transition to our second part of Pat’s (Mahomes) contract where it is difficult. But I think you guys saw last year that all the rookies that we drafted were major contributors. So, I think it’s very difficult to do but I think the continuity plays a huge role in our success.”
Q: On having Patrick Mahomes signed to a long-term contract.
VEACH: “Yeah, I mean it’s a huge advantage for us just because I think we know what our offseason looks like, by and large. It’s always going to change, and the cap is going to go up now, and hopefully now we have had some successful offseasons and everything’s back to normal, knock on wood, things will continue to get better and better and better. But the big part or the big piece of that puzzle is something that we have a degree of certainty and things will have to get changed and adjusted as we go there as well. But just knowing that Pat (Mahomes) will be here for a long time and knowing that the biggest part of that pie is accounted for just helps us focus our attention on the offense and defensive side and not have to worry about the most important piece.”
Q: On the Draft selection.
VEACH: “Yeah, we always try to stick to best available. It’s probably a cookie cutter line all GMs use. It does become difficult sometimes when you have certain position groups that are really deep because you do think, ‘Maybe he’s a little higher in value but there’s depth in that position so maybe you can get something similar.’ So, it’s just working the board and really trusting your guys at the end of the day. You know, handicapping teams and their needs is a big part of that and that’s where our pro department comes into play in this college process, just kind of projecting what other teams will do. But I mean, yeah, you always try to stick to just the best player because it is a game of attrition. You can sit there and think that you’re deep at a position – I remember a few years ago we thought we were really deep at defensive line and within the first three or four weeks we lost three of them. So, you always want to make sure you take the best player.”
Q: There’s been a lot of discussion about the value of a quarterback. After Browns QB Deshaun Watson’s deal, will you have to talk about or reevaluate Patrick Mahomes’ contract?
VEACH: “Yeah, I don’t really know. I mean that’s a fair question, that’s a good question. On one end we have Pat’s (Mahomes) deal done, on the other end we’ll certainly have to monitor the rest of these deals. We have a lot of years with Pat’s contract, so that’s something we’ll have to readjust as time goes. All these teams are structurally different, how they handle contracts like this is different, the cash flows are different. It’ll be an interesting timeframe and we had to go through that hurdle there. Now Cincinnati and (the Chargers) have to go through that there. I’m kind of like you, I’m anxious to see how they work their deals and we’ll be taking a look at every aspect of how they do that.”
Q: In 2019, DK Metcalf was sitting there, and you moved up for Mecole Hardman. This past year, same thing with Skyy Moore. Can you talk about those two and the decisions and the receiver position as a whole. Do you look at strength or athleticism? What are you looking at there?
VEACH: “Yeah, you know the physical attributes in regard to what we’re looking for, good football players and we’re also looking for a room fit, a cultural fit, how they fit with our coaching staff. I mean there are so many things that we take into consideration. Every year when you have these drafts and you see whether it be a mock draft or guys listed on the board, I think people tend to forget that there’s a lot of dialogue. It’s not like, ‘Chiefs like smaller receivers.’ We like good football players, but do they pass the medicals, do they pass the interviews with our coaches, with our offensive coordinator, with our receiver coach, with our head coach, is the chemistry there, do they feel like it’ll be a good blend in our locker room with our current receiving group? So, there are a lot of things that factor into it, and you know I think in both of those cases, I think we felt like the fit from the health, medical grades, to how they interviewed with us and how we thought they’d come in and catch on quickly and how we can move them around, things like that. I think we take all that into consideration. And sometimes there are factors – and I’m not saying anything with those two guys – but just as a whole, I think there’s a lot of underlying information that we have to just be accountable for and sometimes they move you in a different direction and you continue to just move on and learn from each experience.”
Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid Quotes
February 28, 2023
CHIEFS HEAD COACH ANDY REID
Q: When you first started here one thing you talked about was the winning culture and tradition. Can you talk a little bit about your feelings on that culture and how Marty Schottenheimer helped create that following the groundwork that Hank Stam laid?
REID: “Yeah, no I do. I have lot of respect for Marty (Schottenheimer) and what he did in the National Football League. He won a lot of games with a couple different organizations, and he was just a heck of a guy. He was not only as a player but then he touched the league as a coach and helped made the game better.”
Q: Looking back at the Super Bowl LVII victory from two weeks ago, were there any moments of doubt creeping into your mind and what was your mindset being down 10 points at halftime?
REID: “No, there wasn’t. 10 points isn’t a lot when you’ve got a good offense and Pat Mahomes. So, I wasn’t too worried about that. I just wanted to make sure – we were off a tick – so I was just making sure we got back on the same page, with the guys and the coaches and on both sides of the ball. We were able to do that. We got a couple stops on defense and couple scores on offense.”
Q: What are your expectations for WRs Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney moving forward? Do you anticipate them having larger roles next year?
REID: “Yeah, I think both of them, Skyy (Moore) and KT (Kadarius Toney) will probably have bigger roles. You know, as they come in, they’ll be more familiar with the offense mainly, and so you can utilize them in different ways. Both of them are very talented, I really like their attitude towards the game, and we’ll just see. We’ll see how that goes once we get to camp and the OTAs.”
Q: Is there a different anticipation with the 2023 NFL Draft coming to Kansas City this year?
REID: “You know I think it’s great for Kansas City. I think it’s great for the National Football League. (General Manager) Brett Veach doesn’t have to go too far, it’s all right there. But listen, I’m mainly happy for the city and for the NFL for bringing it there. It’s a great city.”
Q: Now that you’ve played the Bengals several times over the past few years, what do you make of them after several regular season and postseason matchups?
REID: “So the Bengals are a really good football team and it’s because of that – two good football teams playing each other – has developed this rivalry, if you want to call it that. The way I look at it is it’s a well-coached football team and they’ve got good players so it’s a great challenge and that’s why we’re in this business. It’s a lot of fun, those games are a lot of fun. Great competition.”
Q: In the lead up to the Super Bowl, you were very complimentary of Eagles QB Jalen Hurts. After playing him, what are your thoughts?
REID: “I think his future is great. I think he’s a great kid. I had a chance to spend a little time with him at the 101s (101 Awards) in Kansas City, where he was NFC Offensive Player of the Year. He’s very sharp and he had a phenomenal Super Bowl. And that’s about as much pressure as you’re going to have, and he came out and threw for a ton of yards and ran for a ton. I think Philadelphia’s in good hands right there.”
Q: Can you share your thoughts on the promotion of Matt Nagy to the role of Offensive Coordinator and former Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy being hired as the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator of the Washington Commanders.
REID: “So I’m so happy for EB (Commanders Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy) to have a chance to put his name on an offense that is his now. You know, he’s working for (Commanders Head Coach) Ron Rivera who’s a dear friend and more of a defensive head coach than offensive head coach. This allows EB to do his thing and I’m happy for him. I’m wishing him luck with that, but I’m also wishing him luck going forward. Obviously, we were trying to get him to become a head coach. It didn’t work out that way but that’s not over yet. So, I think he’s going to do a heck of a job there and really be able to show his personality within the offense.”
Q: With the Super Bowl being as late as it is now, what have you done since being off?
REID: “Yeah, I’ve worked on staff things. (Kansas City Star beat writer) Herbie (Teope), mentioned (Offensive Coordinator) Matt Nagy and so there’s a process you have to go through and talk to people and interview people. And so, that’s what I did. Between (former Houston Texans Offensive Coordinator) Pep Hamilton, who’s phenomenal, (Philadelphia Eagles Offensive Consultant) Marcus Brady, phenomenal, and our own guy Matt Nagy that was here. Phenomenal interviews and just talking football is incredible. I got to do this for a good week, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Just tells me that the league’s in good hands. We’ve got some good coaches out there and I’m excited about that.”
Q: As far as Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy is concerned, do you predict you will promote Pass Game Analyst/Assistant Quarterbacks Coach David Girardi to quarterbacks coach?
REID: “Yeah, I’ll end up announcing that here – we’ll I guess I’ll do it right here, Herbie (Teope). Yeah, David (Girardi) will work into that. Again, I went through an interview process there. (Boise State Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks Coach) Bush Hamdan from Boise State was one of the guys I talked to. Again, he’s at the college level, he’d been with the Falcons, but now is at the college level. College football is in good hands with him, so Boise State I’m happy for them. But he’s (David Girardi) the natural fit in there and that’s what he’ll be doing, yeah.”
Q: Have you had a chance to talk to Patrick Mahomes since Eric Bieniemy made his decision to join the Commanders and have you had the chance to talk to him about Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy being promoted?
REID: “Yeah, I have. We’re all very happy for him (Commanders Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy). I mean, that press conference was unbelievable. And so, here he is in the country’s capital, and you know I just can’t tell you how happy I am. He could end up being president (laughter).”
Q: What’s the biggest challenge for a coaching staff trying to sustain Patrick Mahomes and help him grow?
REID: “Sure. Well, you’re always going to try to bring things to the table that are new for him so he can continue to grow. He wants to grow, which is the most important thing. He wants to be the best, which is important. And he’s going to work his tail off – he’s already started. But that’s how he’s wired, and you know as coaches you’re going, ‘Hey let’s gather up some good stuff for him so we can add to the repertoire of plays that he already has.’”
Q: Can you talk about your exit interview with Frank Clark? How was it different than last year and as a free agent do you hope he returns?
REID: “So, I actually talked to him at the parade. So that’s where I ended up talking to him. He had to do some stuff for the actual exit physical, but I had a good talk with him. I love Frank Clark. It’s just, you know, (General Manager Brett) Veach has got to juggle all these different things going on, but Frank, he’s a top-notch, top-notch guy. I love him. Love him to death.”
Q: On the use of jet sweeps throughout the season. How have you seen the use of jet sweeps expand?
REID: “Well it depends on who you’re giving the ball to. That helps. I mean I think it’s a good scheme for our part of things if you’re talking that. Schematically, you put these defensive ends in a little bit of a bind. Other than that, I mean we could talk jet sweep, we can go somewhere and talk jet sweep.”
Q: What are your thoughts on the rookie class that had so many contributors for you that will now be in their second year. Does having so many young guys under contract give you more flexibility with the many draft picks you have this year?
REID: “Well I’d tell you yes. Anytime you have all these young guys that have made it, it does give you some flexibility. You know you’ve already signed your quarterback to a contract there, so that helps too. So, you kind of know where the money is and what you can do with it. But (General Manager) Brett’s (Veach) down here with his crew looking at more new guys and so we want to add, we want to take those picks and add to it. I’m sure he’s going to talk to you after I do here so you can ask him. The job that he did with his guys was second to none I would say.”
Q: With so much young talent, do you foresee another matchup between the Eagles and the Chiefs next year in the Super Bowl?
REID: “Well, you know this, but it’s a long road to get there. A lot of things can happen, so I’m not very good at predicting the future. But all the coaches that are talking here are making that their goal to get there and we’re no different than that. We’re making that our goal, as the Eagles are. And (Eagles Executive Vice President/General Manager) Howie’s (Roseman) done a great job of bringing that influx of new players to them and (Eagles Head Coach) Nick’s (Sirianni) done a good job of coaching them, so they’ve got a good football team for sure.”
Q: To the teams that are looking at quarterbacks here, what are some things to be aware of when betting big on a quarterback pick?
REID: “Yeah, I mean, you’ve got to ask one that needs one (laughter). I would tell you, a lot of people get caught up on the arm strength. That’s one thing, but that’s not necessarily the most important thing. It’s how the player handles the game from the feet to the head. And you’ve got to also be a leader on top of all that. So, a little bit in a nutshell there but those are the kind of the primary things.”
Q: What’s the last couple of weeks looked like for you and the coaching staff? Have you been getting caught up with the guys that you’re going to talk to this week at the Combine?
REID: “Yeah, it’s your first opportunity to visit with these guys. Which I think is good. People say, ‘Well the answers are canned.’ Well, they’re not. It depends on what you’re asking them and how you maneuver around that and present to them, but you get a little taste of what they’re about. For the coaches, it’s the first opportunity to meet with them and then it goes from there, whether it’s the 30 visits, watching more tape, all that. That’s kind of what this is good for.”